When I was 15, I was just getting into Japanese animation. Of course, as it was the early 2000s and the internet was still kind of, well, pre-Youtube, my options were basically dubs of Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z. And, as bad as it was/is, I loved Sailor Moon, and it held my interest for a long time because I realized something about the dub was…off. So I started reading this website that had summaries of all the episodes, and found out things like some of the characters were gender-swapped in the English dub so they wouldn’t be gay. As in, gay male characters were given female voices and were attempted to be passed off as biological women. Yeah. Way to go, America.
But I digress.
Because of my budding interest in Japan and anime, my parents, who have been supportive of my academic pursuits (if not a little baffled by them at times), actually introduced me to the research subject with which I spent the most time: Miyazaki Hayao, and, by extension, Studio Ghibli. The English-language dub of Mononoke-hime, or Princess Mononoke had a small (mostly art) theater release in 1999, and my dad had seen a review of it in the local paper and thought I might want to see it. So he very graciously drove me downtown to see it the day after Thanksgiving.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that this movie changed my life.
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